A new regional performing arts organization, called Cantori: Choral Artists of East Texas, will form in January to present high-caliber choral music.
Unlike most choirs that require a much longer commitment — traditionally nine months — singers will have the opportunity to participate in a series of weekly rehearsals of the Cantori group for two months, culminating in a concert.
A second two-month round of rehearsals in the fall will also conclude with another concert.
Referring to the organizational structure for the new choir, Dr. Cameron J. Rose, who is forming Cantori and will serve as director, said, "I don't think there is anything like that in the region or state."
It will be less burdensome to singers by allowing them to make a short time commitment and he hopes to attract singers from throughout the region from all kinds of different backgrounds.
The word "cantori" in the group's name means "I sing" or "singers" in Latin or Italian. Inclusion of the phrase "Choral Artists of East Texas" also in the name indicates that the choral group will represent the region on a large scale and sing at a high level of musicianship.
The first two-month rehearsal stint will conclude with a concert at 6 p.m. March 2 at Tyler's First Presbyterian Church with presentation of "Durufle Requiem," a multimovement religious piece composed by Maurice Durufle of France. It is a well-known work of choral literature.
The combined choirs from the University of Texas at Tyler, an organist and a small orchestra of contracted local musicians will perform with the new Cantori choral group during the concert.
Rehearsals of Cantori: Choral Artists of East Texas will start at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 in the choral hall of the music building beside the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center at UT Tyler. Registration is $65.
Rehearsals will continue weekly at UT Tyler on Thursdays during January through February until the early March concert.
Approached periodically by people requesting that he organize a new community or regional choir, Rose — who is director of choral activities at UT Tyler — has instead focused during his 10 years in Tyler on strengthening the university choral music program.
Now Rose feels he is at the point where he can reach out to establish Cantori: Choral Artists of East Texas as a semiprofessional group.
Rose is looking for people who enjoy singing and can read music to join Cantori. They may have sung in church choirs, college choirs or other choirs and would like to continue to sing in a more involved way. Rose wants all types of singers: men and women, high school students and adults. He hopes that singers who are UT Tyler alumni will come back and join.
Once singers leave a college or university, the opportunity to perform music at a high level is often limited, Rose said. The Cantori choral group will provide an opportunity for singers to have a chance to join a high-caliber performing arts organization and enjoy the experience again of singing at a high level, he said.
"Being a member of a choir has many benefits to an individual," Rose said. "It enlivens the spirit, it enlarges the soul, it sharpens the mind and it also strengthens community friendships (as) people share and learn beautiful music together."
Concerts that the Cantori group performs will give audiences an opportunity to listen to a high-caliber choral group, Rose said.
For more information, go to www.cantoriartists.org or call 903-566-7304.